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Q*bert rework ?


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I love Q*bert. I was once given an empty Q*bert shell and restored every single bit to a complete and beautiful working machine. I sold it not too long ago together with all my machines so I had a look at the A8 version recently, it's not a terrible port but I feel things were left out because of limited cartridge memory space. For starters, I always hated the single color player used for Q*bert. I understand it, but the hollow....open eyes of Q*bert look scary, while he is supposed to look funny.


Since a number of games like DK DKjr and Pac Man got improved versions through this forum...would it be possible to improve Q*bert too ?


Aside from the single color sprite...I'd like these improvement. Of course I am not limited in my dreams by any practical programming knowledge...so this is just my imagination:


- less jerky movement of Q*bert. Seriously...he moves in steps it seems....could this be done better ?

- speech !!! The arcade samples should be available....could we play them back as samples ? Or maybe it can even be done in the original way using a soft voice synth ?

- knocker ! I miss the knocker sound just as much as the missing speech ! Could be a simple sound playback but....what about triggering an output and hacking a real knocker onto it :):)

Edited by Level42
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Arcade perfect Qbert can be done.


No it can't. The arcade Q*bert hardware is more powerful than ANTIC/POKEY.


However, a better version could certainly be done. Years ago I had a copy of an alternate Q*bert port that looked superior to the Parker Bros version, but had no sound. A work in progress, I always assumed. I have no idea who wrote it.

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Hi Paul, with today's coding and tool's I believe your right, it could be done d*mn close to or even better than the arcade, in some respects... having seen your and others works, this is reasonable. How each person perceives it as to whether it's good or bad is always subjective, I am certain most believe it can be done better. :)

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One big problem is that Q*Bert allows up to 3 possible colors on the top of each cube. Then, you need 2 more colors to draw the fronts of each cube. That's why it does the dithering. The only way to allow 5 colors + background is to reduce the resolution and use GTIA 10, or get really creative with a full-screen kernel.


One of my back-burner projects was to try to make the pyramid completely out of PMG manipulations leaving the normal graphics for software sprites.

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A much better Q*bert could have been done if Atari had clocked the Votrax chip from POKEY instead of a fixed clock in the 14xx series. Sadly, that didn't happen.


But, that's what it would require to reproduce the sounds.


I'd love to see an add on with an SC-01a chip clocked by pokey designed by some creative user.

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There is nothing wrong with trying... and a few title have been re done better than the originals... the original programmers have even publicly said so... but call it a fanboy thing. You sure do like to knock heads, a bane if you will.
bane bān
noun: bane; plural noun: banes
a cause of great distress or annoyance.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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